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Magic in the Air (1941)


Published 1941


How TV works and the promise of its youth.


Run time 7:58
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

"A simple explanation with animated diagram shows the basic principles of television, this newest magic of the ether waves. This film takes you behind the scenes of television studios at Radio City, shows you the construction of the iconoscope, which is the sender and of the kinescope which is the receiver."


TELEVISION BROADCASTING RCA NBC STUDIOS MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS CAMERAS SPORTS HUMOR STADIUMS ANTENNAS ANIMATION RASTERS SCANNING Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York Baseball
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Reviews

Reviewer: Robin_1990 - - March 3, 2008
Subject: Historically Facinating
Since almost nothing exists from pre-WW2 american Television, It's facinating to watch this short film, which gives us an insight into very early TV. Most importantly, it notes that early TV is a mix of "Radio, Motion Pictures and the Stage", which is really what early TV was like (Many early TV shows were based on Radio Programs, and many early TV shows were basically televised stage acts).

Also shown is an example of what TV was like back then, Showing a model walking a diving board (Which could be either an early fashion show, or even a telecast of the play. In any case, It's one of the few insights we have into early TV, even if it probably isn't from a real program)
Reviewer: bread - - September 27, 2006
Subject: The FUN world of television!
I liked this short film. Worth downloading if you like television, and want to know more about it's early days.
Reviewer: ERD - - July 18, 2006
Subject: Historically very interesting
If you are interested in television, this 1941 documentary is historically very interesting. Well written and presented.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - October 31, 2003
Subject: TV Times
The two Magic in the air films, one made in 1941 and the other in 1955 are very similar to each other that I'd thought I'd kill 2 birds with one stone and review them both in one review. The 1941 version was made when television was (obviously) very young and you could get it "if you lived in certain parts of the country). It pretty much follows exactly the same pattern after that, how television works, how a television camera works, and so on. When it ends, the 1955 version gives us a few more examples of how television is used, and, in a particularly blatant Jem Handyish moment, ties them in with cars (the 1941 version, even though it's produced by Handy also, doesnt mention it). Both of these are okay, though I was sort of wanting more.
Reviewer: www.martsander.com - - July 13, 2003
Subject: MAGIC IT IS...
A great flick to watch if you have any connections with the television. The shots from the director's booth are absolutely wonderful, and it's moving in a weird way to hear the announcer say: "Here's one of the very first images received by the television. Compare that crude image with that of today's!" as we see blurry Felix the Cat change into a beautiful blonde... Yes, they thought they had come of age.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - October 3, 2002
Subject: Magic in the Air
This 1941 film about television (then in only a few thousand homes) fairly accurately predicts the role television would take in people's lives in the future. A man who cannot get tickets to a football game relaxes in his easy chair at home and watches it on the tube. Then an extensive explanation of how television works is given. At the end, though, it gets weird when a woman leaps out of the television and freshens up the man's drink. The narrator doesn't exactly promise this kind of service from future tv, but encourages the men in the audience to fantasize about it, something most men hardly need any encouragement to do. Some scenes from very early television are shown, including a recreation of the first televised imageÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂa Felix the Cat statue.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
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